August was cozy mystery here at Carla Loves to Read and I spent some time catching up on some series that I had fallen behind on. I will say that although I enjoyed these books, they were not as exciting as I had hoped. They had good mysteries, but I missed the quirkiness I normally enjoy in a cozy mystery. I listened to all of these books using Hoopla through my local library.

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Read or Alive (Bookmobile Mystery #3) by Nora Page, Ann Richardson (Narrator)

Published August 11th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing, May 12th 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

3.5 Stars:

This addition to the Bookmobile Mystery series was enjoyable, with a new mystery for Cleo to solve. Henry Lafayette, Cleo’s beau has brought the Georgia Antiquarian Book Society Fair to Catalpa Springs and everyone is excited. Cleo and her BFF, Mary Rose Garland attend to see what they might be able to pick up and just to see and touch all the old and rare books, manuscripts, photographs, letters and more. What Cleo soon discovers is that some of the items on display and for sale may have been obtained illegally. When she realizes that some of her friends are being swindled or their items stolen, she tracks down the main culprit, but when he is murdered, she ups her sleuthing when Henry becomes the main suspect.

I enjoyed re-visiting Catalpa Springs, Georgia and meeting up with this varied cast of characters. Cleo is a septuagenarian librarian. She uses her Bookmobile to bring books to those who can’t get to the actual library. She loves books and justice and both come to play in this mystery. Cleo and Henry have a sweet relationship and they are both booklovers. They are both well loved in the community and are able to suss out information. The police chief is the typical bumbling fool who jumps at the first suspect and is manipulated by the attractive visitor to town. Very cliché so it is up to Cleo to prove Henry is innocent. I love the four legged characters, Cleo’s cat, Rhett Butler, and Henry’s old pug, Mr. Chaucer. They are usually by the sides of their owners as they sleuth. There were several suspects in this story and a few red herrings here and there. Although I enjoyed this story, it didn’t seem to have the same quirky feel as the first in the series. I will read more, especially #2 which I missed to see I enjoy it more. The audiobook was narrated by Ann Richardson and she did an enjoyable job with this story. She does a great job with her inflection adding the right amount of surprise, excitement, dismay and expression. She gave voice to the characters bringing enjoyment to the story for me.

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Deadly Vows (Britton Bay #2) by Jody Holford, Libby McKnight (Narrator)

Published October 10th 2019 by Recorded Books, April 9th 2019 by Lyrical Press

3.5 Stars:

Britton Bay is in full gossip mode as one of the residents who fled years before is back, planning to hold an elaborate wedding for her daughter at the B&B where Lucy lives in the carriage house on the property. She has brought her own team, including a well-known, up and coming chef. Molly plans to interview the celebrity chef for the paper, but before she can do that, she is found dead. Who had it out for the chef? Can Molly help solve the crime before the wrong person is arrested?

I am enjoying the Britton Bay mystery series by Jody Holford. It is a charming series with a beautiful setting, interesting characters, unpredictable mysteries and even a bit of a romance. Molly is a wonderful character. She is smart, doesn’t take anything from her co-workers and is perseverant. I also like Sam Alderich. He is the son of the owner of the B&B, where Molly is living and they have begun dating. He is extremely protective of Molly and wishes she wouldn’t investigate and put herself in possible danger, but he doesn’t smother her. This mystery has a few suspects, some twists and red herrings that made it difficult for me to guess the actual culprit. The final reveal was an interesting showdown with some danger that was a good ending for this mystery. This was a light read without a lot of suspense, but still an enjoyable cozy mystery read. Libby McKnight narrated the audiobook and did a nice job with this story.

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Deadly Ride (Britton Bay #3) by Jody Holford, Libby McKnight (Narrator)

Published December 5th 2019 by Recorded Books, October 22nd 2019 by Lyrical Press

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Deadly Ride is the 3rd book in the Britton Bay Mystery series by Jody Holford. I found it to be more enjoyable than the last with a bit more sleuthing, more suspects and a few more twists. I enjoyed this visit to Britton Bay on the Oregon coast and meeting up with Molly and her friends and co-workers once again. As editor-in-chief of the Britton Bay Bulletin, Molly steps in for a sick reporter to cover the Classic Car Crawl. Her boyfriend and owner of the auto shop that sponsored the crawl is a huge classic car enthusiast. He introduces her to many of the exhibitors, including the co-founder of the crawl. Most are nice guys, but someone was not happy with something and Molly and Sam discover the co-founder dead in his car. Molly quickly shifts gears to solve the murder as Sam is one of the suspects.

I enjoyed this story with not only it’s mystery, but getting to know some of the secondary characters better. Sam continues to worry about Molly putting herself in danger and she begins to understand that there are others who care about her and that she needs to ask for help. The mystery was well done, with plenty of suspects to choose from. The author did a good job developing motives for each suspect so that even though the culprit was on my radar, I wasn’t sure who the murderer was until the final reveal. I enjoyed the descriptive writing and I felt like I was right there in Britton Bay, watching all the action taking place and listening in on conversations. I would love to visit this seaside town and meat these characters. This is a cozy mystery series that takes us into the life of it’s characters. It has romance, friendship, new beginnings along with the mystery. With my added enjoyment in this third book, I will continue with this series and look forward to book #4. Once again, Libby McKnight narrated the audiobook and did a nice job with this story.